JAGST hike & paint, Etappe 7, Hammerschmiede: Gronach creek to Jagst river
The day looked promising. The clouds were still there, but the sun came through every now and then and I started my new stage of the hike & paint tour. At Hammerschmiede parking in Gröningen I parked the car.
This time I did not start at Jagst river directly, but walked straight towards it. The landscape looked freshly washed after the rain and the light green foliage sprouts everywhere. As I walk down the hill from the road to the hammer mill (Hammerschmiede) I already discover a lot of different wild flowers and herbs such as pink and yellow dead nettle, small anemones, yellow ranunculus, wild sage and small wild strawberry plants in full bloom. The landscape is developing and where a few weeks ago the trees were brown and unadorned, fresh green leaves or white flowers can be seen on some fruit trees.
After having sketched the blossoms of the tree I continued my way towards the mill.
Here is my sketch of the upper ensemble of the hammer mill.
Nowadays it is a museum and some kind of event location as well as restauration for hikers.
The old forge is still there and during events they make the whole big hammer forge work. There is also a baking house and an oil mill. Very spectacular.
The environment makes me feel positive and as I arrive at the hammer mill, I look for a place on the opposite bank for my sketch. The sky was leaded, nearly like a greyish-lavender colour, but luckily the wind was weak. The colours of the landscape, in contrary, were very intense.
I could have painted lots of watercolours at the mill, but I’ll save that for my next visit. First of all I had to continue crossing the river several times, either over large stone blocks or small bridges.
The deeper you dive into the forest, the more you perceive smells of wild garlic. At a ford where there must have been a bridge in earlier times (…because you can still see remains,) there is a place to picnic and also some wooden sculptures. For me it is the „forest of figures“. After that, the path soon becomes narrower and the Gronach gorge looks steeper the closer you get to the mouth of the much larger Jagst river. You cross the creek a few times on the way, which makes the tour very entertaining.
As I arrived at the mouth, I unpacked my picnic blanket and enjoyed the things I brought with me to refresh myself.
While I had that tasty coffee in the wild, time stood still for an instance and I so much enjoyed the moment. This is about the same, as being in the flow with a watercolour.
I started another watercolor of the light green forest and the small, covered bridge over the Gronach of which I painted the detailed foliage later in the studio as that would have been too timeconsuming. (This place is very close to the point I already drew in Etappe 5 – you see I did not get a lot further…which is great, as there is so much around that needs to be painted.
Again I thought that the colours were extremely fresh and intense. Mostly there were different lush greens and contrasting reds and browns of the soil. The creek splashes into the river and the song of the birds make the drawing spot unique.
Then it’s time to start the way back through the gorge, the forest of figures, the wild garlic forest and getting back towards Hammerschmiede again.
Saved the best for last. Could not resist to make a fast sketch of another romantic bridge directly at the Hammerschmiede and was too done to see that the bridge was straight and not bent like in my watercolour. (I only discovered that as I finished that one in my studio). Tired and satisfied, I went back to the parking lot. What a day!